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Shelterpop

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    Each week, bring something new to your garden/windowsill/favorite vase -- and impress your friends with your ahead-of-the-curve picks.

    Lilium "Silk Road". Photo: Marie Viljoen


    This is not a shy wallflower. More like a brassy bottle-blond with lipstick on the wrong side of pink, wearing way too much perfume. It took me years to fall in love with this lily, which arrived as a bonus gift in a bulb order from The Lily Garden. Now? I am hooked. Container-grown, it is a statuesque six feet with voluptuous flowers with a scent that becomes pronounced at night. Plant these lilies 6" deep in full sun. Or go ahead and read up on lily care.

     

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    Don't have time to browse all the online sample sales everyday? You're in luck: We searched them all and brought back the best.

    Editor's Pick: Les Petits Plaisirs du Matin stoneware dishes from Kiss That Frog, $12-$22, One Kings Lane.



    Infuse your kitchen with French countryside charm using these adorable stoneware pieces. The coffee bowls, egg cups, mugs, dessert plates, and utensil jar are all printed with pretty pictures of croissants, tarts, and other morning delights, which have us dreaming of France!


    Want to snap this up? Move quickly. Sale ends Saturday, 11am. Check back tomorrow for the next Daily Sampling!

     

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    Everyone associates the warm glow of candlelight with winter -- so they'll be that much more surprised to see the clever ways you style them for summer parties.

    decorating with candles


    Check out this story from our friends at Real Simple!


    Pair with Surprising Pieces
    Display pillar candles atop unused thick-walled Champagne flutes, flipped upside down and grouped on a mantel or tabletop.

    Bring the Outdoors Inside
    When the weather grows cool, move a window box indoors, set it on a ledge, and "plant" taper candles in the soil or floral foam (making sure they don't burn too low).



    Create a Centerpiece
    A sophisticated centerpiece for a dinner party: Arrange an array of candles on top of a mirror that runs the length of your table.

    Put Them in Unexpected Vessels
    Votive candles anchored in sand or small pebbles in thick-walled wineglasses cast romantic shadows on a dinner table.



    Layer with Care
    A vintage glass cake stand lined with votive and pillar candles creates a stately centerpiece for a wedding or other affair.

    Line a Staircase
    Light the way up a spiral staircase with simple glass candleholders.

    Looking for more ideas? Real Simple has way, way more. And don't miss:
    Conquer Your Biggest Clutter Challenge
    Secrets of the Closet Pros

     

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  • 06/30/11--10:02: Blank Canvas: Artspace
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    What's more intimidating than a big empty wall? The endless options of photographs, drawings, screenprints and shadowboxes out there. We're making it a little easier by zeroing in on our favorites.

    The reason we're crushing on the latest art marketplace website? It's got friends in high places. I mean, really high places, like Lincoln Center and Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, so in addition to shopping their selection of under-$250 artwork, you can also browse their museum and gallery-quality works from big names like Jenny Holzer, Chuck Close and Louise Bourgeois.

    Kara Maria via Artspace


    I especially love the handy, friendly meet-the-artist questionairre so that as you're settling on a piece of art, you get to use the creator's personality to help sway you in either direction. I was won over by my current favorite, Kara Maria (seen above), after finding out that she's a vegan that loves reality TV. No, not the kind of information you usually find out while browsing art out in the real world unless you find yourself in conversation with the artist, but certainly the kind you'll want to call out to friends when they admire your new art.

     

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    Changing your entire room four times a year? That's a bit much. But bedding is the perfect thing to play around with as the seasons change.




    The easiest way to give your bedroom a new look is to bring in new bedding. And the perfect times to do it? With the changing of the seasons. Match your sheets and duvet with the season's color palette -- greens and yellows for the warmer seasons, rich earth tones for fall and fresh winter white for when the temperature drops (and you need that extra optimism).

    Another benefit of the seasonal switch? You can lighten up. Pack away the flannel sheets and heavy knits as summer sets in and make way for light cottons and linens. You might even save on your energy bill.

    Looking for more great (and fast!) transformations? Check out our favorite Minute Makeovers.

     

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    Don't have time to browse all the online sample sales everyday? You're in luck: We searched them all and brought back the best.

    Editor's Pick: Kala steel lamp by Murray Feiss, $180, Rue La La.

    This steel lamp's cream-colored base with its sienna orange swirls has an elegant appeal and the round red shade is simply oh so stylish. Two of these on a console or bedside tables will definitely rev up the glamour quotient in your home.


    Want to snap this up? Move quickly. Sale ends Sunday, 10am. Check back tomorrow for the next Daily Sampling!

     

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    Legendary designer and architect Michael Graves shares his must-have kitchen tools.

    Michael Graves



    I've always endeavored, both as an architect and as a product designer, to create things that are interesting in form while also serving a particular function. When I started designing kitchen tools and gadgets, I not only wanted to aid in the creation of delicious meals, but also add an element of décor, a dash of color to the room and the convenience of multi-purpose items.

    I believe good design -- whether it's a building or a tea kettle -- should be accessible to all. That's why, in designing my collection with Target, Michael Graves Design, I strive to offer products that serve a purpose and inspire the user at the same time.

    I incorporate qualities that I feel passionate about in a product -- never overlooking the tiny details. For instance, the new Mini Citrus Juicer features a ribbed lid to hold fruit securely, an integrated spout, a seed strainer, and you can use the bottom of the container with the lid to store unused juice. It comes in three great colors, is completely dishwasher safe and separates completely for easy cleaning and storage.

    Another example of my design philosophy is the Zester & Grater with built-in retractable storage cover. I wanted to make a great functioning cook's tool that is elegant enough to bring right to the table but that also provides a built-in storage solution. The blade is made of stainless steel and its retractable cover is fashioned in a lively orange translucent plastic. It's perfect for zesting citrus fruit, spices, chocolate and ginger, but it's also perfect for grating parmesan cheese right over the pasta bowl!

    My greatest joy is designing a product that will make the user smile at the design and appreciate its functionality and affordability.

     

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    This summer, we're kicking off every day with a quick cleaning tip at 8am.

    No, not just the inside of the windows. Do the whole job at once! White vinegar and water make a great indoor window cleaner, then switch to liquid dish soap and warm water (about one teaspoon per gallon) for the outside.

    Have a cleaning tip to share? Let us know at Twitter.com/ShelterPop.

    Getty; Corbis

     

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    A brand new kids website offers webisodes, games, recipes and crafts -- all with a Martha flair.


    Martha Stewart's about to get a whole lot of new fans. And for the first time, they won't be master crafters or chefs. Mainly because they're not allowed to use too-sharp scissors ... or the stove.

    But Martha doesn't mind one bit. The new site, a partnership between Martha
    Stewart Living Omnimedia and AOL isn't trying to turn the playground set into soufle-making whiz kids -- its aim is to "inspire creativity, foster independent thinking and celebrate friendship." And the rosy-cheeked cartoon star to lead the way? 10-year-old Martha as a "problem-solving, craft-loving, generous spirit." Also making appearance, her loyal friends (including an animated Kevin Sharkey) and dogs, Francesca and Sharkey.

    "Kids are extraordinarily imaginative and we are so glad to be part of a project
    that encourages, celebrates and rewards their innate creativity and curiosity," said
    Martha Stewart, Founder of MSLO. "Ever since I was a little girl I've had a passion
    for crafting and cooking and my hope is that this series will inspire a whole new
    generation of do-it-yourselfers."

    Will we see the next generation serve us their 3-ingredient lemonade with a s'mores to-go box and gift us handmade cards and the adorable shell-made koalas they crafted? Honestly, we kind of hope so. We're going to say "it's a good thing."

     

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    Not sure about a renovation project or just feeling lost about redecorating? We've consulted the stars to offer you some divine decorating guidance.

    CANCER
    It seems like you've hit a decorating wall this month dear Cancer. But no fear, this is the time where your friends are really going to shine. Don't hesitate to ask your family, coworkers and friends for their guidance and advice. Not sure if you should take on that accent wall? Don't make the decision alone.

    decoroscopes cancer julyClockwise from left: John Derian. Thomaspaul. Peyton & Clark.

    Clockwise from left:
    Crabs decoupage tray, $185, John Derian.
    Crustacea linen pillow, $104, Thomaspaul.
    Crab With Sailboat engraved and embossed cotton flat cards, $48/set of 8, Peyton & Clark.


    LEO (July 23-August 22)
    July is going to be kind to you. So go with your gut! Your instincts are spot-on this month. Lusting after a settee in the window of your favorite antique shop? Buy it. Trust yourself. It will lead to great things.

    VIRGO (August 23-September 22)
    Start rearranging: Now! Take July to cross all the organizing tasks off your to-do list. The stars are aligned for you to get your home life into shape. What you accomplish now will serve you well for the rest of the year. So get those file folders ready...

    LIBRA (September 23-October 22)
    Don't be afraid to take on any tasks this month -- like planting new bulbs or installing great new fixtures. The home improvement results will be lasting and you'll luxuriate in these accomplishments.

    SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)
    Great news -- this is a good month for you, financially. So don't be shy when it comes to stocking up on all the things you've been holding off on buying. That new area rug? Make it happen. The latest coffee table that's made your heart beat fast? It should be yours. Go forth and spend.

    SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)
    It might sound boring, but this is your time to knock out all the cleaning/bookkeeping/organizing chores you've been avoiding. It'll make you feel productive and extra time spent at home will work in your favor...in mysterious ways.

    CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19)
    If you've been considering renovating a room or space, now's the time. You're especially primed for group activities this month so make sure to surround yourself with a willing and able team. You'll all benefit.

    AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18)
    The home will be your sanctuary in July. So don't feel guilty if you find yourself spending weekend after weekend on the sofa -- it's important for you to destress in the comfort of your own space so that you can excel later on.

    PISCES (February 19-March 20)
    Be open-minded to new ideas, whether it be a paint color you've never considered, a recipe you thought was too difficult or a table setting that's out of the ordinary. Venture into new horizons this month, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

    ARIES (March 21-April 19)
    June may have wiped you out, but the work's not over yet. Get ready to keep up with errands, chores and maintaining the calm at home. It may not be glamorous, but it'll be emotionally rewarding.

    TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
    Put your negotiating skills to work this month! Maybe you want to institute a chore chart or rearrange your living room furniture. Let your personality and opinions be heard. You will win against any opposition at home.

    GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
    It's in your nature to have multiple projects going on at once. Don't fight it! Your motivation is unstoppable in July so take on that craft project you've been meaning to try. Your multitasking skills will not disappoint.

    Check back in on August 1st to see what next month has in store for you...

     

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    Don't have time to browse all the online sample sales everyday? You're in luck: We searched them all and brought back the best.

    Editor's Pick: Wooden tool set by Jonas Damon for Areaware, $49, One Kings Lane.



    This summer, we've got big plans for redecorating, cleaning, and fixing up all those broken hooks and wobbly chairs. So we're psyched about this attractive four-piece tool set. Made from sustainable beech and metal, it's come to us at the perfect time!


    Want to snap this up? Move quickly. Sale ends Monday, 11am. Check back tomorrow for the next Daily Sampling!

     

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    Not all messes are created equal. Find out what your particular kind of disorder says about you.

    ...and your family, your coworkers and friends. Honestly -- it's not so bad. Who knew that a mess can sometimes get a positive message across?

    Hillary Stein, Flickr



    If you have messy: Closets
    Chances are you are: Nostalgic -- perhaps a bit too much.
    Sam Gossling, author of Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You notes the connection between old items and our ties to their past. If you've got an out-of-control closet, it doesn't mean you're a pig -- chances are, you're trying to hold on to past events and people through those small mementos.
    How to change it: Letting go can be hard. Don't put pressure on yourself to empty out the closet during a quick cleaning session. Instead, take some time to go through the items and identify what justifies keeping in a special place and what you can part with.

    If you have a messy: Desk
    Chances are you are: Creative.
    "Messiness is related to creativity because it tends to juxtapose things that don't normally go together." says Columbia University Business School professor Eric Abrahamson, over on Penelope Trunk's site.
    How to change it: In the same article, Illinois-based career coach Kelly Crescenti suggests setting up a filing system and then spending the last 15 minutes of every day organizing your piles and clutter into that system.

    If you have a messy: Bed
    Chances are you are: Going through a dry spell.
    Eek. While you probably realize that clothes, magazines and crumbs on your bed aren't super sexy, have you thought about the subliminal message they're sending? Over on The Nest, they break is down: "A messy bed could be a sign that you don't think of your bed as something you need to keep accessible so you can hop into it on the fly."
    How to change it: Try an extra laundry basket for clutter, an extra 10 minutes every morning to put things away or a new, bigger nightstand.

    If you have a messy: Sock drawer
    Chances are you are: Structured and detail-oriented.
    Yes, this one surprised us, too. But Chemistry.com's latest study found that people who are ordinarily the most orderly have the most chaotic sock drawers.
    How to change it: Bring in smaller containers to break up the drawer -- this video shows you how.

    Tell us: What's the messiest space in your home -- and what do you think it says about your family? And then, find out your cleaning personality!

     

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    We love the StyleList's "It Happened Last Night." We love decor. So why not put them together in a shoppable, fashion-fueled room?

    This Weekend's Pick: Anna Paquin

    True Blood heroine Anna Paquin showed up at the series' season four premiere unexpectedly (and uncharacteristically) "dressed" in black-and-violet gothic-style attire. We like the show enough, but more importantly we love how Paquin's look and the colors conjure up a sexy, moody bedroom in our minds.

    Fashionable Room Anna PaquinPortrait: Toby Canham/Getty Images. Products: Courtesy Photos.


    And you can get the look in your home with these products:

    Clockwise from top left:
    Madame Noir chandelier, $1,785, Jayson Home & Garden.
    Pierson pillow, $27, Crate & Barrel.
    Edland nightstand in gray, $80, IKEA.
    Eagan Multi-panel small mirror, $249, Pottery Barn.

     

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    You've seen our Fashionable Room column where we look to some of the best-dressed starlets for decor inspiration. Now we're turning to the best-groomed men for some pointers.

    This Weekend's Pick: Jon Hamm

    Whether he's onscreen or off-screen, the Mad Men star is always impeccably put together. He pulled off a sharp, gentlemanly look (natch) recently at The Critic's Choice Television Awards, arriving in a crisp white suit that got us thinking about a polished living area that is accented by sophisticated library furnishings.


    well suited room jon hammPortrait: PatrickMcMullan.com. Products: Courtesy photos.


    And you can get the look in your home with these products:

    Clockwise from left:
    Clairmont nickel floor lamp, $369, Ethan Allen.
    Iron side table, $599, Horchow.
    Rockwell bookcase, $1,295, Jayson Home & Garden.
    Eaton club chair in white pebbled leather, $3,450, Williams-Sonoma Home.

     

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    Break in the Fourth this year with these great Etsy art finds inspired by American presidents.

    Before you head out to the barbecues and fireworks, check out these innovative handmade Etsy art goods that pay homage to America's leaders past and present. You'll be pleasantly surprised--and impressed--and your collector instincts might just kick in!

    Etsy president artEtsy


    If you didn't know, Abraham Lincoln has quite the cult following, which has led to some captivating and even fashionable creations such as this illustrated print on old dictionary paper ($7) and these creative Lincoln stamp cufflinks made from upcycled Scrabble tiles ($19).

    Etsy president artEtsy


    You can toast president Obama in your home everyday without turning on the T.V. with this cast stone bust ($500). Or stock up on these vintage postage stamp badges (approximately $6 for a set of three) that are made from stamps in the '40s, '50s, and '60s and bear images of JFK.


    Etsy president artEtsy


    What better way to immortalize our founding father than with a George Washington mounted rubber stamp ($13)? It's the perfect witty sign-off in a handwritten note.

    Etsy president artEtsy


    The Union Army general who also became the 18th-president of the United States had his fair share of scandals during his two terms in office from 1867-1877, and this Ulysses S. Grant print on wooden boards ($15) reminds us of what's important: Good intentions.

     

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    Celebrate the 4th of July with these easy party ideas from "America's Sassiest Lifestyle Guru" Steve Kemble.

    July-4th-party-tipsSome of our favorite red, white & blue looks from Steve's parties! Photos: SteveKemble.com


    A festive, memorable July 4th party doesn't have to cost a fortune (or take weeks to plan). We spoke to party planner Steve Kemble, who's planned events for both Presidents Bush, for how you can put together a festive event tomorrow.

    July 4th Party Idea #1: Take advantage of inexpensive decorations.
    "I love the 4th because it's all about food, flags and fireworks. It's a great time to use inexpensive things like balloons, steamers and patriotic bunting. Or try this creative idea: Take foam core and paint and let the neighborhood kids make a flag with their hands and feet. Handprints make the blue stars, and the feet make the stripes of the flag!"

    July 4th Party Idea #2: Rely on kids for decor.
    "Ask all the neighborhood kids to decorate their bikes with streamers on the wheels then send them down the block for a bike parade. Parents will love it! And so, so festive."

    July 4th Party Idea #3: ...And also, adults!
    "Invite your guests to dress in red, white and blue. It's so amazing how everyone dressing the part adds energy and a festive atmosphere. It's decor that costs absolutely nothing!"

    July 4th Party Idea #4: Let there be lots and lots of light.
    "You've seen those Chinese paper lanterns -- get those in red, white and blue then drop an LED battery-operatd light in there and string them along the yard and on the fence line."

    July 4th Party Idea #5: Send guests home with an easy gift.
    "Before the party starts, create a custom CD of patriotic songs that you can play throughout the song. Then burn a bunch of them so that each guest can take one home as a party favor! It's a great way to say 'thanks for coming!' and you know they'll play it all the way home."

    Looking for more fun July 4th party ideas? Check out...
    Fabulous July 4th Party: Simple, Stylish and Affordable

    The Ultimate July 4th Party Planning Guide
    15 All-American Recipes Just in Time for the Fourth of July!

     

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    Traditional farmhouse-rustic style takes on a bright new (patriotic) look in Country Living magazine's latest summer issue.

    Flipping through Country Living's new July/August issue we've noticed that it's full of that good ole American spirit. Here're a few of the best (and our favorite) patriotic spaces in the issue.

    The cover's bedroom puts a playful spin on the classic beach house look with a mix of patterns matched with red, white, and blue stripes while a rustic-yet-modern children's bedroom is decked out in Americana like a Navajo quilt, colorful folk art, and a flag pillow.


    We love this photo of a pump house by the lake with the punchy blue Adirondack chairs and the red kayaks, which continue the patriotic color scheme.

    For more patriotic decor, check out our bit on decorating with flags, also courtesy of our friends at Country Living.

     

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    Getting into the 4th of July spirit with decorations? Definitely a 'do'. But how far is too far?

    Check out this story from our friends at Curbed!

    red-white-blue-house

    With Independence Day less than a week away, it's high time to feast the eyes on some prime examples of patriotically inclined houses across this fair nation. Have a look below.


    Looking for more terrifically patriotic homes? Check out the rest of the gallery on Curbed or see our favorite spaces from Country Living.

     

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    This summer, we're kicking off every day with a quick cleaning tip at 8am.

    Instead of playing your favorite workout music when you're cleaning, organizing, or painting a room, put on an interesting podcast or an audio book. It helps make it all feel less like a chore and you're sure to learn something new.

    Have a cleaning tip to share? Let us know at Twitter.com/ShelterPop.

    Getty; Corbis

     

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  • 07/05/11--07:45: Home Remedy: Get Creative
  • Filed under: , , ,

    Find yourself slumping in front of the TV every evening? Three designers weigh in on how your home can inspire you to be a little more creative with your down time.

    We've already explored how your home can make you look younger, wake up early, destress after work and stop fighting. Now, we're putting it to work again. We reached out to the New York Design Center's new Access to Design designers to get their thoughts and tips on how your home can inspire you to get more creative. (You can also get great advice and find a designer at accesstodesign@nydc.com.)

    get creativeCourtesy of Vanessa Deleon


    Interior designer Vanessa Deleon suggests looking to nature for inspiration. So bring the outdoors in! Doesn't this room make you want to write, draw or break out the board games?

    get creativePhoto: Peter Dressel; Courtesy of Coffinier Ku Design



    Interior designer Michelle Slovak votes to rezone the family room.
    "Why not designate a corner of your living room for ʻhands onʼ activities other than video
    games? Board games donʼt have to be ʻboredʼ games -- there are lots out there. Instead
    of the typical square, ʻgame tableʼ, choose a round, pedestal table. This gives you more
    room to pull up extra chairs. Make sure the chairs are comfortable. We like chairs that
    can do double duty in the living space like these from Dennis Miller."


    And Etienne Coffinier and Ed Ku of Coffinier Ku Design start with the bathroom.
    "We had a client who works in financial services who told us that he loved to unwind from the stress of work with a great steam. It was obvious that we could have given him just a traditional steam in his shower but we thought we'd have a little more fun and created a real mini-hamam in this New York City apartment by turning one of the bathrooms into a full steam room. The contractor waterproofed the entire room and we tiled every inch of it with a combination of slate, tumbled marble and pebbles on the floor. The rainhead shower is in the center of the room so you can move seamlessly from brushing your teeth or shaving to relaxing in the steam to having a quick cool-down shower. Very crazy but he says he often does some of his best work in this room."

     

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